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Nashville DUI/DWI Law Blog

Not all sexual assault allegations are true

Instances of inappropriate behavior on college and university campuses have been making news lately. Many schools are having to answer for an atmosphere that supposedly fails to protect their students from sexual assault. A recent claim, however, brings to light another side to the story that advocates fail to talk to about -- false claims.

The East Tennessee State University's Department of Public Safety recently received a complaint from a female student that a male student with whom she was acquainted had sexually assaulted her. The alleged attack supposedly took place on Sept. 14 in one of the university's buildings where classes take place. Later, the female student recanted her story and admitted that the assault never took place.

Tennessee woman sentenced on 2 counts of vehicular homicide

On May 22, 2015, an SUV was headed eastbound on the East Lamar Alexander Parkway. It then crossed over into the westbound lanes and struck four motorcycles. Two people died and four others suffered a variety of injuries. The Tennessee woman driving the SUV on that day was recently sentenced to a total of 17 years in prison on two counts of vehicular homicide and other charges that were part of a plea agreement reached through negotiations between her criminal defense counsel and prosecutors.

Reportedly, the Tennessee woman was under the influence of marijuana, a sedative and other drugs on the day of the accident. Victims and their family members testified at the woman's sentencing hearing about the newlyweds who were killed and the trauma suffered by the other victims and how it affects them and their families daily. Thereafter, the judge sentenced the woman to 8.5 years in prison for each of the two deaths, which sentences will run consecutively (back to back). The sentences for the other charges will run concurrently (at the same time) as those sentences.

School bus driver's livelihood in jeopardy after DUI charges

When a Tennessee resident is arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, it is more than his or her freedom that is at stake. Many people's employment requires them to drive. Facing DUI charges is sometimes enough to put that person's livelihood in jeopardy.

For example, a man who drives school buses for four of a Tennessee county's 23 routes was recently arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and having an open alcohol container in his vehicle. The school board of the county in which he works suspended him pending an investigation into the charges. Not only does the man contract with the school system, but he and his wife own the company with which the contract was made.

Judge modifies sentence after criminal trial in Tennessee

In certain circumstances, a person convicted of a crime in Tennessee may request that his or her criminal record be expunged. The possibility was recently granted to a former school teacher when the judge who had presided at her criminal trial reconvened to announce he wanted to modify her sentence. A prosecuting attorney later stated that he personally objected to the judge's decision to modify.

The situation involved a 46-year-old former first grade school teacher. She was convicted of having sexual relations with a minor student from a high school in the same area where she was employed at the time. However, the student said he met the teacher outside the scope of her work in the school district.

Field sobriety tests are not a reliable indication of impairment

Many Tennessee residents have joked about the fact that they could not walk a straight line or say the alphabet backwards even if they were sober. Even though this is often said in jest, the truth of the matter is that it is not far from the truth. Field sobriety tests are often not a reliable indication of impairment, and many people have been arrested for DUI based on these tests, only to have the charges dismissed later.

Two of the three tests designed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) -- the walk-and-turn test and the one-leg stand -- are heavily affected by a driver's physical condition. Some people are just not that physically coordinated even if they have not been drinking. Even so, some physical factors have been shown to affect whether an individual is able to adequately "pass" field sobriety tests.

What does it mean to be accused of cyber bullying?

Technology has advanced to the point where most people here in Tennessee and around the country have some sort of online presence. Social media, texting and other forms of electronic communication have become a way of life. State and federal laws have had to keep up with these new forms of communication, which has spawned a new segment of law enforcement to deal with cyber crimes such as cyber bullying.

As the name implies, cyber bullying is defined as bullying another person through the use of electronic technology, such as tablets, cell phones and computers. For example, spreading rumors through email, social media or text would be considered cyber bullying. People have also been known to disseminate embarrassing videos or pictures of someone through these methods as well.

DUI charges could rise with more enforcement through Labor Day

The annual "Booze It & Lose It" campaign recently got underway on Aug. 19 here in Tennessee. Numerous local law enforcement agencies team up with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office to increase police presence on the roadways in order to discourage and stop people from driving under the influence. Between now and Labor Day, DUI charges could rise across the state and the nation.

Tennessee participates in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's nationwide campaign in an attempt to lower the number of alcohol-related fatalities in the state. In all of 2015, crashes involving a drunk driver cost 239 people their lives. So far in 2016, 118 people have already suffered the same fate.

Investigation leads to arrest of politician for sexual assault

With this being a presidential election year, politicians are in the news nearly every day. One county commissioner here in Tennessee is even making news, but not because he is up for re-election. He did so because he was arrested for sexual assault and other charges stemming from a joint investigation involving the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

The 71-year-old man is accused of engaging in sexual relations with a minor. The incident allegedly occurred in April. The investigation, which lasted approximately three months, began in May after reports were made to officials. He faces two counts of exploitation of a minor, aggravated statutory rape and aggravated assault.

Drug and DUI charges filed in aftermath of hit-and-run

Recently, a driver decided to chase down another vehicle. After coming to a stop, the other driver contacted police and waited for them to arrive. By the time police left the scene, the driver of that vehicle was under arrest. The Tennessee man is now facing drug and DUI charges.

Supposedly, the accused man drifted into the oncoming lane of travel and struck the vehicle of the driver who ended up following him. The alleged victim then claimed that the vehicle failed to stop, which is why he chased the vehicle to the location where police were dispatched. Upon arrival, officers administered field sobriety tests, which they claim the Tennessee man failed. Furthermore, officers claim that the allegedly impaired man possessed illegal narcotics, a large amount of prescription drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Plea bargain reached in child sexual abuse case

A former teacher here in Tennessee started an after-school program for young boys who did not have a father figure in their lives. The program took place off school grounds. One of the participants in that program accused him of child sexual abuse. The man was charged with several sex crimes, and he recently entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors. 

Officials reported that the sexual abuse occurred between Jan. and Sept. 2011. At that time, the man was working at a Tennessee middle school. He then left that position and took another teaching job elsewhere. In May 2015, an investigation into the supposed victim's allegations began. The former teacher was arrested in Aug. 2015.